The house was cold and silent. Davey’s Aunt gripped his arm, but smiled when he looked at her in the near darkness.
“Everything will be all-right David,the house is silent and nothing is at all unusual. Let’s start our exploring in the cellar.”
They entered the kitchen and unlocked the cellar door.
Slowly descending the concrete steps the coldness was striking.
Davey held the candle aloft and it revealed only a table and a few old kitchen utensils. In the far corner was a deep pantry and Davey opened the door wide.
It too was empty, but as he turned away something flew past his legs in the darkness. He was so startled that he dropped the candle which spluttered out immediately.
His Aunt gave a small gasp of alarm and Davey groped on the floor until he once again found the candle.
He lit it and the kitchen was bathed in its eerie flickering light.
“It must have been a cat, said Davey. Nothing else could move so swiftly and silently as a cat.”
His Aunt gripped his arm once more and they left the kitchen and started up the long stairway.
At the head of the stairway were several rooms and Davey had to find the correct key for each one.
There were only a few remnants of old furniture in most of them.
Too worthless to be even taken and thrown away.
They inspected each room in turn and found nothing untoward.
The moon was now high in the midnight sky and pale moonlight streamed through the dusty windows.
“It’s fifty years today since the young maid was strangled in this house,” said his Aunt.
“You certainly took your time telling me that,” said Davey.
He was really taken aback at this news, and he became even more alarmed when the slamming of a door echoed though the house. I
t had came from upstairs, the very rooms that they had just finished investigating.
Davey was all for leaving but his Aunt wouldn’t hear of it.
It really made him a little ashamed that such an old lady was more brave than he felt at the moment.
They continued through the remaining ground-floor rooms and returned to the lobby where there was a deep cloak-room.
“Come David, let’s sit in the cloakroom.
We will have a perfect view of the hall and staircase from there.”
“I thought we were leaving now,” said Davey.
“I wouldn’t dream of it. We are here until daylight. Silly stories of ghosts are not going to send us fleeing from an old house,” retorted his Aunt.
Resignedly Davey followed his Aunt into the cloakroom and they both sat of the floor.
His Aunt was correct, a perfect view of the hall and staircase presented itself.
They sat in silence, but whenever they had to talk it was only in whispers as the sound of a normal voice was amplified by the empty interior of the house.
It was whilst they were being silent that they heard the first low scream.
Again it was coming from upstairs. The sound of running feet sounded above them.
Someone was running from room to room, slamming doors as they went.
The sound of heavier footsteps were pursuing the lighter steps.
It was obviously a female being chased by a man.
The sounds went from room to room and along the walkways between the rooms.
The connecting doors between the rooms was affording the pursued plenty of options to escape her pursuer.
Then the steps started to come down the long staircase and Davey thought he was going to pass out with terror.
He looked at his Aunt and he couldn’t believe what he was seeing.
In the candlelight her face seemed so much younger.
he lines of old-age seemed to have magically disappeared and she looked only thirty instead of eighty.
The sounds on the stairs again drew his attention and they were approaching the hall. The footsteps ran straight into the cloakroom in which they were sitting, and a freezing blast of air enfolded them.
He again looked at his Aunt, but she seemed undisturbed by what was happening around them.
She turned to Davey and with a sad smile she said,“I’m so sorry David, but I’ve waited fifty years for this night.”
She leaned across and kissed him on the forehead. The booted footsteps were almost upon them when Davey passed out.
Two days later a harassed desk sergeant reluctantly agree to send a couple of constables to investigate complaints from the square.
Apparently there had been screams and the sound of doors banging over the last couple of nights from an empty house there.
When the constables arrived they found the front-door still unlocked and they walked into the long hall.
They discovered the bodies of Davey and his Aunt in the cloak-room, both stiff and cold.
The autopsy revealed that Davey had seemingly died from a heart-attack brought on by absolute terror, whilst his Aunt appeared to have been strangled with considerable force.